How to Cure the Painful Load Time of WordPress Social Plugins
During our work optimizing web pages for faster loading times, one problem keeps coming up - slow loading social buttons and widgets. The Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and other little social widgets that everyone loves to use on their site can have a significant impact on page load time, especially on mobile devices.
How Bad is the Problem?
Here's a waterfall comparison between a typical, semi-optimized, WordPress Blog post using the very popular Add This social media plugin and without the plugin or any other social buttons or icons. For this example, we're using Webpagetest.org's Desktop speed test, with the settings of From: Dulles, VA - Galaxy S7 - Chrome - 3GFast
First View Load Time: 5.685s
Requests: 36/646 kb
First View Load Time: 10.086s
Requests: 57/1,110 kb
This is the impact when you're only using the Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and expanded sharing buttons - more are available.
The addition of this social button plugin slo...